Arsenal have no time to feel sorry for themselves after their drubbing at Manchester City, with another top-of-the-table clash against Chelsea awaiting them next Monday night.
The 6-3 defeat was a blow to Arsenal’s title hopes. There is no shame in losing to City at Etihad Stadium. All eight Premier League sides to have visited the ground this term have left empty-handed. However, the manner of the defeat will worry Arsene Wenger.
Some good sides have taken beatings there but more was expected of leaders Arsenal, who had only conceded 11 goals in their first 15 games. They were blown away by City, who went up a gear every time the Gunners found a way back into the contest.
In a way, the meeting with Chelsea is the perfect game for Arsenal. They have an immediate opportunity to show that result was a flash in the pan and that they have what it takes to win the title.
The Blues will be on their guard, then, well aware they could face an Arsenal backlash.
Jose Mourinho’s side have been in indifferent form this month, struggling past Sunderland and Crystal Palace and losing at Stoke. They will need to lift their game massively for their trip to the Emirates Stadium.
Mourinho has problems at both ends of the pitch. Chelsea’s strikers are miles behind their high-profile rivals at other top clubs in terms of goals, while the Blues have already conceded more than they did in Mourinho’s first season as manager in 2004-2005.
Despite the issues, they are far from a crisis. They are just two points behind Arsenal and Mourinho will know that there is much more to come from his men.
Chelsea have already won at the Emirates this season, in the Capital One Cup, but that will count for little in this one.
Arsenal have won six of their eight league games on home soil and have extra motivation following Saturday’s mauling, while Chelsea have lost three of their last five games on the road.